What is pure beauty? On their new 5-song e.p., the Naysayer explores this and other timeless questions. A band that escaped easy genre classification on last year's "Heaven, Hell, or Houston" and the debut "Deathwhisker," the Naysayer here flirts brazenly with country. But this is not the country of a rock band stripping down to sound "homegrown." There ain't no backporchisms or "oldie timey" times here. This is more like hardcore urban country, with frontwoman Anna Padgett singing tales of sin-filled cities, love (and lust) discovered, rented furniture, and waiting patiently in heaven for your man to join you only to look down and see him running around with someone else. Despite its mere 5 songs, "Pure Beauty" has the fullness and breadth of a full album, with each song telling its unique story with a sweetness and clarity of emotion that could easily be played alongside Dolly, Tammy, or Loretta. "Waitin' & Datin'," with its pedal steel, violin, and sweet harmonies, is both blackly humorous and achingly sad in its (literally) heavenly contemplation of love lost, while "Frank & Terri Ann" - despite its sick humor - is a waltzing narrative of love regained. "My Liver Needs a Lawyer" is a raucous, fast-talking honky-tonker with a bizarre chorus that is quintessentially Naysayer; "Things Have Gone to Pieces" is a tender cover of a classic song with a depth of emotion that would sound at home on any Naysayer recording. And the title track, "Pure Beauty," deftly transcends its "novelty" song potential to become an unabashedly joyous celebration of true, sweet love (and lust, indeed). Production is slicker than in the past, resulting in a real Nashville-in-the-seventies sound. Instrumentation is straight-up country, with Matt Sutton (Malarkies, k.) on pedal steel and Jake Danziger on violin. Padgett is also joined not only by her traditional Naysayer cohort Cynthia Nelson (Retsin, Ruby Falls, the Sophie Drinker) on drums and vocals, but also by Karla Schickele (k., Ida, Beekeeper), and multi-instrumental wonderman Miggy Littleton (Ida, k., Blood on the Wall) on vocals, guitar, and bass. But despite these departures from previous recordings, and despite its playfully blatant country sound, "Pure Beauty" is pure Naysayer, and steers clear of facile formula. The Naysayer's beauty is unique. The Naysayer's beauty is pure.
item # 8535